Finally told BF that I have anxiety issues- He says I'm just making it up

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
9454 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I’m not gonna lie.. an ex of mine treated my eating disorder the way your boyfriend is treating your anxiety disorder, and leaving him was one of the best moves I ever made.  Being with someone who makes light of your disorder the way your boyfriend does is, well.. bad.  It was isolating, infuriating, and frankly.. as much as I disgusted him, he disgusted me more–at least once I realized his lack of empathy and his need for me to be shiny and perfect were HIS failings, not mine.

I’m disgusted by your boyfriend on your behalf.  You made yourself vulnerable when you shared this with him, and he spat in your face in return.

I’d ask him why he’s so bent on refusing to believe that your brain is wired differently than his… I don’t know if you’ll get a straight answer, and I’d probably ask it while walking out the door.  I wish I had better advice, how to show him why he’s wrong, etc… but I just have no idea how to do it beyond what you’ve already done.

I can assure you that there are so many people out there like your friend.. who will encourage you to seek help and who will do their best to help how they can.

Post # 3
490 posts
Helper bee

I’m so sad to learn that he thinks it’s made up. I also have anxiety issues as well as my mother. It’s very serious and definitely not made up. Obviously, I’m not saying what to do in your relationship ( hate when ppl do that) but it’s VERY hard to be with someone who doesn’t believe you, can’t be there for support, or just doesn’t want to accept it. You definitely need someone who is willing to understand what your going through. It’s easier then going through it alone. If he can’t be your rock now idk how anyone can continue with someone who can’t be there. Even just to listen

Post # 5
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

veleniza :  Bee, you poor thing. It sounds like you have been battling anxiety and depressive thoughts/self injury for a long time and coping very well on your own, but taking the step to access therapy is SUCH a good idea and might really help you. It is incredibly hard to take that step and I commend you for it.

Your BF’s reaction is concerning. If I were to give him the benefit of the doubt, I would say that he has very little understanding of mental illness and has been insensitive as a result. Do you think he would be open to seeing your therapist with you, seeing one on his own to learn about the condition, or doing some reading? If so, I think your relationship might be OK provided he is open to educating himself. If not – well, you’ve got to think about your own mental health here. If you have a panic attack or depressive episode, you NEED a partner who is going to say “babe, what can I do to help you?”, not “stop making shit up”. Imagine if you had diabetes and asked your Boyfriend or Best Friend to bring you your insulin, and he said “stop talking about it, you don’t have diabetes, it’s all in your head”?

From personal experience, I have general anxiety disorder, OCD and depression. I’ve had supportive partners and less supportive ones. I’d say my husband is supportive 99% of the time in that he recognises that they are real illnesses, goes out of his way to avoid disrupting my routines, and tries to understand it. The only time he’s not helpful is when I’m having a panic attack – he really doesn’t get how debilitating they are and will say ‘helpful’ things like “just tell yourself you’re fine!” which does not work. If he did not make an effort to understand my illness, this marriage would not have happened because it’s very important to have as much support around you as possible.

Post # 6
49 posts
  • Wedding: August 2017

Sorry this is happening Bee 🙁 you sound very similar to me. I’m outgoing and cheery and bubbly and smart! and I also have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and it suuuuucks. For me mostly but definitely has not made things easy to handle through the yrs with my amazing partner. It’s a lot to take on so maybe this was an initial reaction and hopefully he will come around soon and be ready for a second conversation.

A lot of my time and energy, since I started taking medication to help (Cymbalta woo woo!!) and still working on therapy, has gone into managing my life to minimize my anxiety. That means I try to live a bit more bravely and think about what I need for long term peace of mind. Give yourself the time and attention you need.

Here is what anxiety IS: It’s still a part of me, and a part of you, and I’m learning to manage and cope and work through it. It is a real thing that should be taken seriously, and its also a lot for a new partner to take on. Maybe ask him to do his own research, for your second pass at a conversation. Willingness to participate is awesome and at least a step in the right direction. Will he come to a session with a therapist?

What its not: It’s not a way for me to shift blame, nor an “excuse”, nor a flaw or a roadblock and certainly not a reason to excuse be treated badly or not being taken seriously.

Post # 7
490 posts
Helper bee

veleniza :  also, if you ever want to talk or email rather just to share experiences I’m here for you. You need someone there for you. It’s sad it’s not your Boyfriend or Best Friend

Post # 8
9454 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

annemeghna :  good point, it is possible that he was just taken aback about having such big news “sprung” on him.  It can’t hurt to give him a bit of time and see if he comes around.  If he doesn’t, then I revert to my original input hah.

Post # 9
1606 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Your bfs reaction sucks. You need to be with someone who can be your support and is there for you. His current attitude is not one of a good partner. 

Lets give him the benefit of a doubt and chalk this up to ignorance. I would show him information related to anxiety. WebMD type sites but also blogs or cartoons that show what anxiety feels like. Who knows which will trigger a better understanding. I would also take him to your counsellor with you. Having a trained person explain it might make it more real. Make it very clear to him that this is a medical issue you deal with. It’s not “just in your head”. 

If you’ve done all that and he still is not supportive, I’m sorry but I don’t think this is the right person for you. Anxiety affects your whole life and it is so crucial to have understanding and supportive people. Don’t make yourself suffer more by having to deal with his unsupportivensss. 

Post # 10
11198 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

veleniza :  

How truly awful for you.  To bare your soul to the person you should be able to trust most and have him kick dirt in your face.  I would be devastated.

My diagnoses are:  major clinical depression, severe; generalized anxiety disorder, severe; and panic disorder.

My Dh has lived through days of me lying on the floor sobbing uncontrollably.  He’s been with me to every single one of my psychiatrist appointments.  He assembles my meds and puts them in the pill carrier.

My issues are well controlled with meds and I’ve been stable for years now.  But, I cannot imagine how I could have gotten here without dh’s unconditional support.  I don’t think any man could do more than he has done and continues to do.

He *never* questioned whether my conditions were real, for gawds sake.  That would be unforgivable.

Does your bf lack empathy in general?  That would concern me greatly.

Post # 11
452 posts
Helper bee

I think you should judge your relationship by how the person acts when you need them the most.

Your BF’s reaction is dismal and infuriating. And thankfully, it’s not something you can put up with. I wouldn’t fight about trying to see if he has an ounce of empathy in him. At 32, he should know better. There are nice men out there who won’t make jokes about serious topics they don’t want to try to understand.

Post # 12
7660 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Your bf gets an F for his initial reaction. But I wouldn’t throw away the relationship just yet assuming everything else is good. What I would do is send him a calm email explaining why his reaction was hurtful and giving him some links to read up on anxiety disorder. (I always like putting these types of things in writing, because it gives me a chance to really think through what I want to say in an organized and coherent way, which can be difficult when you’re arguing with someone in the heat of the moment!)

You said he was dubious about depression being a real thing, but quickly changed his stance after you merely showed him a definition for “depression.” That shows that he is capable of reconsidering things. 

Don’t get me wrong…his immediate reaction is heinous and a major blow. I would be devastated. But you have to keep in mind…while this is something you’ve been coping with for many years, and building up the courage for the last few months to talk to him about…this is the first he’s even hearing about it. He has no idea probably about how scared you were to open up to him about it, and about how much time you’ve spent over the last years thinking about having this talk with him. To him, y’all were having casual drinks and then you randomly change the subject to anxiety…you caught him out of left field with it and he reacted like a douche….but maybe he’s not a douche at the core and is capable of rethinking this and being supportive.

Or maybe not. Time will tell! But this isn’t a situation where I would say “LEAVE HIM IMMEDIATELY.” I would at least try again to talk to him and give him another chance.

Post # 13
1928 posts
Buzzing bee

chocochai :  I think this is a good idea – OP should try to really show him what it is. He might actually just be oblivious, and with so much stigma around mental illness (which is thankfully starting to break) he might honestly just not have any way to relate or to understand.

veleniza :  I’m really sorry you’re going through this – but I just want to say I’m really proud of you for taking control of it and for taking care of yourself so well! 

He might actually just be oblivious, and with so much stigma around mental illness (which is thankfully starting to break) he might honestly just not have any way to relate or to understand. It’s not something you can physically see on an xray, you know? If you’ve never gone through it yourself, or if you’ve never had anyone close going through it, it’s just really hard to relate to it. Maybe your boyfriend didn’t mean to put you down – maybe it was just an honest mistake on his part. That’s why I like what PP said – try to show him. Bring him to your appointments, show him youtube videos, etc. Those were all great suggestions, and once he starts to see it with his own eyes, he’ll probably be way more supportive and helpful! Can’t fault someone for not knowing, just means he needs to learn about it!

Post # 15
4815 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

veleniza :  I have two ex-boyfriends who treated me like that.  Dumping them was the best move ever.   My wonderful Darling Husband is completely supportive and understanding of my anxiety issues.   Believe me, that’s the kind of life partner you want – and the kind pf parent you want for any future children.    

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors